Florida's First Choice for Autism Support

Posts tagged ‘Online’

To the School Districts: Kudos to You!

Blue Speech Bubble World Health Day Facebook Post(2)

CARD-USF’s catchment area covers 14 counties here in Florida. We work closely with all 14 counties’ school districts and district personnel. As a professional at CARD, I see the great work that CARD-USF and all of our districts put in each and every day through out the year for  constituents and teachers to be successful. However today, I am writing as an appreciative mom.

As a mom of two children who are currently in public schools (1 in Hillsborough, 1 in Pasco who has an IEP for Autism) I had a moment today where I stopped and took a moment to reflect on just how great the school districts (not just the 14 we cover; across the state) have been trying to navigate this crazy time.

What would have been a leisurely Spring Break quickly turned into a mad dash to get set up for distance learning. The districts quickly went to work and were timely setting up the meal program which allowed them to distribute meals to children. I’ve seen many parents report how simple it has been pulling up in the car line at their local school, picking up the bag lunch and carrying on with their day.

Additionally, the districts have been hard at work preparing laptops and other devices to hand out to students for remote learning. Again, another enormous task that has transpired quickly and effectively. School districts, in my case, Hillsborough & Pasco, have been emailing, robocalling, and using social media to get information out as much as possible. It can be a bit of information overload but a necessary evil as they are trying to do so much, in so little time and trying to reach every parent they can.

For me, I am fortunate enough to work remotely during this crisis and while that is taking place, I’m also working to get the kids set up for their new online education. My son’s teachers in Hillsborough County have been absolutely amazing. Through emails, Classtag App and even phone calls (yes, just got off the phone with one as I’m writing this) they have been so helpful and positive during this time.

Schools and teachers have been doing parades through their local neighborhoods just to see the kids and provide some fun. My neighborhood’s parade was today and teachers were honking their horns, waving and the kids in the neighborhood absolutely loved it as they waved and displayed their signs they made for their teachers.

During this crisis, I know much emphasis is on the medical professionals fighting the virus head on in our hospitals. As well they should be! I can’t even imagine the chaos in hospitals right now. However, I just wanted to give praise and kudos to the teachers and district personnel who are working hard as well in order to help our children adjust, stay positive and be successful.

So to ALL the school districts, the leaders seeing these plans through and to the teachers… THANK YOU!

 

Adrian Ruiz

CARD-USF, Communications & Marketing Specialist

 

Internet & Cordiality

In today’s world, I try my best to not be cynical; to maintain a positive outlook on life despite all the divisiveness that’s going on in our society. However, even in my best moments I can’t deny the volatility that exists in certain places, and nowhere is this more apparent than the internet. In particular, online forums like Reddit or micro-blogging sites like twitter. Now obviously everyone is free to say and do whatever they’d like online. In the overwhelming majority of cases you’re not in any physical danger, but I do have some suggestions on how to make your time on the internet as enjoyable and non-confrontational as possible. I do this because many people on the autism spectrum are naïve. Mind you, this is not a knock on anyone, as I would certainly include myself in that category.

Allow me to get this one out of the way as soon as possible: unless you’re going into political science in college or something similar, try to stay away from political discussions. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t stay informed; in fact, I encourage everyone (autism or not) to keep up with current events. Just make sure to check as many sources as you can to avoid false information. No, what I’m talking about are the comment sections. Chances are, you go to the comment sections of any political post on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc. and you’re going to encounter a firestorm of negativity and vile. If you value your sanity and self-worth as an individual, keep your distance.

Repeat after me: anonymity is key. Again, in writing these blogs, my hope is for them to be of use for at least a few people. This is a mistake I know many with autism make, and it is so important to remember. Do not give out your real identity or personal information to anyone ever. Predators know how innocent people on the spectrum can be, and they’ll use that to their advantage, either to scam you or have some mean-spirited fun. Besides the obvious financial issues that arise, this can lead to a plethora of nightmarish scenarios such as doxing or swatting. It’s harrowing to read about some of these occurrences, and it can be a mentally scarring experience, so please tread carefully and protect your privacy.

Unless you’re talking with a trusted source, or if it pertains to your health, try not to disclose your ASD to strangers online. Having autism, unfortunately, has become somewhat of a stigma in certain corners of the internet. Being forward and upfront about your diagnosis just invites cyber bullying and other cruel treatment. On the flip side, don’t try to use your ASD as a catch-all for avoiding any criticism. For better or worse, when you post something online, it is truly there forever, and is open for scrutiny. The world is never going to stay silent on anything you say or do just because you have autism. In fact, many will see it as a feeble attempt to garner sympathy if you use your condition as an excuse, something I’ve learned the hard way before.

> G. Sosso

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